Veronica Hudacek is one of the most recent and impressive additions to the Philly Music Lessons staff. Teaching cello, violin and piano, Veronica carries in-depth knowledge of stringed instruments and is classically trained in piano. She holds a BM in Cello Performance and a Masters in String Pedagogy. In addition to being a highly trained musician, Veronica also boasts honors in teaching. Veronica’s former students have won regional awards and many have gone on to pursue degrees in music. One of the things that makes Veronica’s teaching unique (in addition her musical knowledge spanning three different instruments) is that a great amount of her experience has been teaching homeschoolers and homeschooling families for several years. Coming from a homeschooling background herself, she knows a more than bit about the process. She shared some words with us about her own experience, which led her to a generous exposure to the arts from a young age:
“I understand how difficult and rewarding the process can be. I came from a rather large family and while our family dynamic was chaotic, we were very close knit and supported each other. In addition to homeschooling, my siblings and I were also involved in lots of activities in the fine arts: music lessons, dance lessons, and several theater productions, sometimes with a few siblings at one theater in a certain part of town and another couple of us in another production across town. It’s no wonder our mom quickly earned the title “Super Mom” within the theater circuit since she could seemingly be in several places at once! Overall I was very grateful for the experience and learned a lot about myself and how to be capable and independent, yet part of a larger community.”
While not everyone is able to take lessons during the day (especially during the school year), Veronica is excited to announce her availability during daytime hours. This may be particularly appealing to families with children being home-schooled, but would also be relevant to those with summer break and adults with flexible schedules. Anyone for a cello lesson? Coming from Veronica after a brief interview are some thoughts about learning music:
When did you begin playing cello, and why?: The cello was actually a Christmas present when I was 14. The gift consisted of a plywood cello and bow, a methods book, and a VHS of How to Play the Cello. Like so many people out there, I loved the extensive range and overall sound and tone of the cello. Also Yo-Yo Ma was making regular performances in the Twin Cities in Minnesota and I made a point to go to every concert I could. I guess my Mom took notice!
What are your personal goals as a musician?: To continually improve my technique and skills in teaching and performing, and to pass along that knowledge and experience on to my students. Specifically here in Philly, to use music as a means to better the lives of individuals from all walks of life.
What was the most difficult of your instruments to learn – piano, violin, or cello?: Probably violin, I started at an early age with piano and pursued it as a secondary instrument in college but didn’t pick up violin until I was well into my cello studies. The technique concepts are similar, but the weight and balance distributions take some adjusting to!
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?: VIBRATO! I learned a certain approach and positioning in my early years, and it wasn’t until much later in my studies and careful observations of talented and successful musicians that I realized my positioning needed to be adapted. Observing and experimenting with technique is something I always encourage my students to do.
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?: Make a great sound, and don’t injure yourself. (Jeffrey Solow) Words to live by!
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?: Practicing! Always a challenge.
What is your biggest musical achievement?: The recent completion of my Master’s Degree at Temple University, more specifically the lecture recital I gave in early May which was the culminating project of my two years of studies.
Favorite thing about teaching?: Seeing the expression on my student’s face when something finally clicks and they get it! I feel very proud of them, and myself for getting them to that place.
From Veronica’s Bio: